layoffs happen in this industry its a fact of life without any more details its unable to tell why maybe it was just housekeeping and it was people who had not been keeping thier keep it happens . most likely those two articles are unrealted if they are it was just part of the pr reduction and not anything to do with actual development of the product
It happens in the months before release. They hire extra help in the beginning and middle of development and once they are no longer needed they let the ones who's work has finished go.
common sense, why keep someone around and pay them when they are of no use anymore, at least in a business aspect it is sad for the employees but my guess is they were fully aware of this when they started since most have had past work in the industry. so it isn't a big issue